COSMO-SkyMed: Second Generation satellite launched

On 1 February 2022, the second satellite of the COSMO-SkyMed Second Generation (CSG) constellation was successfully launched at 00.11 CET from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida (USA), with a SpaceX Falcon 9 carrier. COSMO-SkyMed (COnstellation of small Satellites for Mediterranean basin Observation) is the first dual system civil and military, of terrestrial observation radar satellites. It is the Italian component of an Italian-French system resulting from the Turin agreement, a bilateral intergovernmental agreement signed in 2001. In its final configuration, the bilateral system ORFEO has 4 Italian X-band radar satellites, COSMO-SkyMed, and 2 French optical satellites, Pleiades, thus increasing overall capacities.

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Land Force Modernisation in the Baltic Region

Recent developments in the three Baltic states point towards a large-scale effort to modernise their respective land forces. This modernisation drive encompasses purchasing new weapons systems and updating existing weaponry. Estonia, for instance, has allotted up to €40 million to acquire additional ground force vehicles, such as the Republic of Korea made K9 Thunder self-propelled howitzer, of which it expects the delivery of six by next year.

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Ukraine Seeking Tighter Collaboration on Cyber Defence with NATO

After last year’s denial of the formal membership to the North Atlantic Alliance’s (NATO) cooperative cyber centre of excellence (CCDOE), the Ukrainian government officials announced that they still want a closer collaboration.

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Dutch Minister of Defence Sworn in After Record Long Formation Process

Nearly a year after the fall of the previous cabinet, the new ministers for the Rutte IV Cabinet were sworn in on Monday the 10 January. The new Minister of Defence is Kajsa Ollongren from the progressive liberal party D66, and she will be supported by Secretary of State Christophe van der Maat from the VVD. The minister of defence, Ollongren, is responsible for general defence policy. This entails, among other things, the future composition and equipment of the armed forces and their deployment. International affairs, such as NATO and EU policy, will also fall under her responsibilities.

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Indian Private Naval Sector Struggles as Government Turns to State-owned Shipyards

The Indian plan of reaching a fleet of 175 ships in the following five years is destined to fail due to insufficient funds and because of the preference of the government to support state-owned shipyards over private business. With the government favouring state-owned shipyards for building critical naval platforms, projects undergo delays and additional costs, Navy officials state (Vivek, Defense News, 2022). The Indian Navy is currently equipped with 130 ships, and 39 vessels are under construction. However, a $1.5 billion annual budget allocated to shipbuilding programs is not enough to meet the capability deficit. Additionally, only three naval contracts of $71.42 million were assigned to private shipbuilders, with the remaining 47 projects given to state-owned shipyards. In this respect, 40 ships are envisaged to the Navy, whereas 10 for the Indian Coast Guard.

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